Saturday, May 16, 2009

Post Race Analysis for Raceday May 16, 2009: The Preakness Stakes Grade I at Pimlico

Race 12 Pimlico: The Preakness Stakes Grade I; 1 3/16 Miles on MD Dirt for 3 YOs.

As the horses were loading into the gate, the SAT TV signal at Papa Turk's house disappeared. The 1930's descended upon us. Luckily, an upsurge in horse racing popularity put the race back on the local AM sports radio station for the first time in years, and I had the radio on and the station tuned in just as the gate broke open. Any disappointment I had quickly went away, as listening to the race call on the feed from the Horse Racing Radio Network was very exciting. Not once until the final furlong was the name Mine That Bird spoken on the radio waves, and Musket Man breaking free and chasing was something that was easy to visualize. I enjoyed listening to the Preakness on the radio very much and it created quite a memorable moment for all the Turk clan gathered together. It was a moment right out of Transistor Times as our friend at Equispace would say.

I think I had a pretty good handicap. I was disappointed to see Friesen Fire not show up again, but I was not surprised by the belly flop of Pioneerof the Nile. I thought Calvin Borel did the only thing he could with Rachel Alexandra, which was take her fast out the gate and try to be near the rail and near the front by the first turn. It was an athletic but tiring move and two more hops to the wire and I think Mine That Bird is shocking the race world again. Mike Smith had to do it the hard way, and that little gelding proved beyond any doubt that he has speed and guts. I'm already getting excited about The Travers, we could see a real showdown of horses coming off the mend and horses from this Triple Crown run.

I worked my handicap. It was a methodical bet I built off of what I laid out as the likely order of finish. I hedged Friesen Fire dropping and that paid off. I placed a premium on current form, and that allowed me to not seriously consider Big Drama. The Belmont is three weeks away and that is already setting up to be an exciting showdown. You have to wonder how many will enter, as 1 1/2 miles is a taxing race and any horseman takes pause about the toll his horse will pay just for competing in that race. For more up to the minute analysis and discussion of the Belmont Stakes, read the excellent blogs at the official website as well as take a look at the revamped and very professional looking Throughbred Bloggers Alliance homepage. Don't forget to take advantage of the TBA coupon for cheap PPs at the Daily Race Form. You'll find the coupon code at our home page in the banner on the left.

And while I'm providing you the video of the race, I must thank the Horse Racing Radio Network carried locally on WGR-550 AM Buffalo for saving my sanity yesterday by not denying me real time access to the event.

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